Steve Hammond and Scott Watkins came to Kebella’s Pizza & Pasta in Edmonds Saturday to face off against a 30-inch beast of a pie and claim their spot on the wall of fame. Hammond is a Kirkland-based competitive eater with seven years experience. Watkins is a Canadian YouTuber with over 35,000 subscribers who records himself taking on food challenges. Both were experienced, but could they cut the mustard?
Kebella’s, a 30-year mainstay of Edmonds Way run by Peter Stratiev and his wife Petya, has been hosting the 30-inch pizza challenge for eight years. In that time, only three groups of three people have managed to eat the whole thing in less than 30 minutes. Winners get a free dessert, a commemorative t-shirt, a spot on the wall of fame and, of course, the pizza. Losers get a spot on the wall of shame and the bill.
Hammond and Watkins watched the pie take shape as onions, sausage then a generous topping of mozzarella were heaped on. Before baking, the pizza weighed a whopping 13 pounds. Hearing that, the challenge became a bit more intimidating. They were facing off against a three-person challenge with only two eaters but refused to be daunted.
“I can’t go into this with anything less than 100% confidence,” Hammond said.
About 40 minutes later, when the pizza had been cooked and cooled, the challenge began.
They hit the trail running. Watkins ate his first slice in less than 30 seconds. All eyes were trained on them as the men stuffed their pieholes. Watkins armed himself with glasses of hot water, claiming they helped the stomach expand. Hammond began to double-up on slices, making a sort of sandwich.
It wasn’t even close. Hammond and Watkins shattered the 27-minute record time by scarfing down the entire pie in 12 minutes and 52.48 seconds. Ever professional, they hadn’t even covered the room with bits of food as some anticipated.
“There’s a lot of food challenges out there that just pile up a bunch of food on a plate but I like this. I can get behind this,” Watkins said. Both enjoyed the pie… while it lasted.
–Photos and story by Jasmine Contreras-Lewis
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